Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported the Cavs have "fielded numerous calls" about the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 pick, which looks like a potential top-five selection. The Boston Celtics sent that pick, originally acquired in the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce blockbuster in 2013, along with Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2020 second-round pick to Cleveland for Irving.
Since Vardon reported the Cavs have fielded the calls, it's possible they are not actively seeking to trade the pick. Other teams are reading the tea leaves and seeing that Cleveland may not want to hold on to the pick.
Thomas and LeBron James can become unrestricted free agents next summer. James is 32 years old and adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the franchise's value. The Cavs' revenue and value plummeted when James left for Miami in 2010; the team could be in a similar situation if he's unhappy with his supporting cast next offseason.
The pick represents Cleveland's best contingency plan in case James departs. It, plus whatever the Cavs could get for Crowder and Kevin Love on the trade market, would form a solid foundation for a full-scale rebuild.
Cleveland has gone to three straight Finals and won the 2015-16 championship, but owner Dan Gilbert is famously impatient. Add the looming specter of James' free agency to the mix, and there's a shot the Cavs could move that Nets pick—especially if they get off to a shaky start.